Foreign ownership of UK travel firms predicted to rise

Foreign ownership of UK travel firms predicted to rise

Foreign ownership of UK travel companies is forecast to rise over the next decade as the sector predicts steady growth, a new study shows.

Research by Barclays Corporate based on a survey of 664 businesses found that almost two thirds (64%) expect the UK to be a better place to do business in 2021.

Less than a third (28%) expect UK business conditions to deteriorate. This compares with half of businesses overall that are positive about the future.

More than half (63%) predict steady and sustained growth over the coming decade, although a significant minority (29%) expect zero or negative growth over the next ten years.

When asked what will fuel the growth, technology is cited by all businesses as being a key driver, while just half of businesses view the public sector or infrastructure spending as an economic driver.

Overseas investors stand to benefit from any economic growth, according to the survey. 

Foreign ownership of UK companies and assets is predicted to increase over the next decade by 79% of businesses, including 30% of businesses that believe there will be ‘much more’ foreign ownership in the UK.

Barclays Corporate head of travel Chris Lee said: “It is clear that the majority of travel businesses believe in the fundamental strength of the UK as a place to do business, and this underlines the temporary nature of the challenges we are currently experiencing.

“To see so many businesses anticipating steady and sustained economic growth over the next decade should also be welcome news for a government that is focused on developing a growth strategy. 

“News of Cox & Kings’ acquisition of Holidaybreak strengthens the view that businesses are planning for the long term with more confidence than some recent business failures may suggest.”

He added: “The UK has been a hub for foreign direct investment for more than two decades, with increasing numbers of airlines choosing the UK and its major cities as their route of choice.  We can expect further international investment to stimulate economic development and job creation as this continues.”

The research is part of a wider report on the predicted business landscape in a decade, ‘Business 2021’, which will be released on September 7. The sample includes 30 respondents from the travel sector.


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